‘cosy candlelight mornings & early hour baking of a Pomegranate Pavlova’
A traditional pavlova really sets the mood during Christmas time, so I decided to whip one up for this Sunday. For the past few weeks my hubby and I have been had a nasty stomach bug, which has drained our energy to the maximum with a baby under one month, but now we are both feeling much better. It means it is time to get back into the holiday spirit as it is only a few weeks until Christmas Eve. My hyacinths are starting to bloom in the kitchen, our little baby has grown 3cm since our last checkup and I’ve made one wreath from pines and white berries. The tree is still as beautiful as ever and we have managed to watch one Christmas movie thus far. I started whipping up the egg whites before 7am while the baby was sleeping and managed to snap a few photos even though it was really dark outside still. I find baking early morning such a pleasant activity, I enjoy a freshly brewed coffee with a little bit of me time (so rare lately) and appreciate all the little Christmas ornaments around the house. When the pavlova was set in the oven, our little elf woke up as well and after a nursing session my boys enjoyed a slow morning in bed with some cuddles. My brother and his wife bought the little one a cutest elf hat from a countryside village that was just the cutest visual ever. The weather is miserable today, foggy, slippery and dark so it’s time to cosy up indoors with some candle light.
In this elegant dessert, a crisp thin layered meringue layer is filled with homemade pomegranate sauce, greek yogurt and toasted almonds. The greek yogurt may not be a traditional topping for a pavlova, but trust me, the tanginess works against the sweetness of the meringue. To keep the meringue from being flat and grainy, try beating egg whites until stiff but not dry. Over-beaten eggs easily lose volume when folded with other ingredients. Also, when adding in the sugar, add it one tablespoon at a time mixing well continuously. Then, you beat the meringue until thin and glossy that is easily shipped into a dome on your parchment paper that is placed into the oven. A pavlova cooks for about an hour and takes about 2 hours in total to make even though it is not much work.
Ingredients for pavlova
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt (topping)
- handful of almond flakes (topping)
- 1 pomegranate
- 3 tablespoons blackcurrant jam
- 1-2 teaspoon sugar
Preheat oven to 140 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add in the egg whites. Beat them with an electric whisk until stiff, but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Fold in the vanilla extract, cornstarch and lemon juice.
Spoon the mixture onto your parchment paper. With this quantity, you make two smaller ones or one large one. I made two smaller ones, shaped like a dome. Bake for 1 hour and cool on a wire rack.
To make the toppings:
Sauté some almond flakes on a dry pan with a pinch of salt. Cook until slightly golden and remove to the side to cool.
To make the pomegranate sauce, deseed 1 pomegranate and keep the juices. Place this into a small saucepan and cook on medium-heat. Add a teaspoon of sugar and 3 tablespoons of blackcurrant jam. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until everything has incorporated. Remove to the side to cool.
Once the meringue has cooled. Add some greek yogurt on top, some pomegranate sauce and a topping of the almond flakes. Do not be alarmed if the dome cracks, it usually does as the toppings are much heavier.